It’s Wednesday, Wednesday, gotta get down with Wednesday…(clearly sung to the tune of the smash hit, Friday, by that annoying 12 year old). And you know what, friends? I can totally get down with Wednesday. Just 2 days away from the glorious long weekend. Speaking of long weekends, what do y’all have planned for the last true weekend of summer? I’m heading to New Mexico (cue flight mental breakdown now) for a wedding! Although I’m pumped for the wedding, I’m completely terrified of the flight. Hopefully my friend “the xanax” will save the day.
Typically, my Wednesday posts are filled with WIAW goodies, but I sort of forgot to photograph what I ate for each meal this week. I guess I was too busy eating? Even if I did, it’d be hard to complete with the amazing eggplant vegetarian lasagna I made (pre-hurricane panic) last Friday.
Lasagna is such a great dish, for me, because it’s so hearty, homey, comforting and classic. It’s one of those dishes that insantly warms my soul. As a kid, my mom would make the best lasagna. It would be covered in cheese and incredible homemade meat sauce and sausage. Now, as I try to watch my figure and eat less things that moo, I wanted the same feeling I got when I used to eat my moms, just with more vegetables and a little less cheese. Although it’s quite different than the orginal, each bite was still equally as tasty. The chewy texture of the eggplant was similar to that of a hearty meat, like sausage, just without all the fat, calories and cholestrol! Every layer of this delectable lasagna was bursting with flavor, from the gooey mozzarella on top, to the chewy, fresh eggplant and squash to the zesty basil ricotta and homemade marinara sauce.
Another reason I love lasagna? (Funny story, I used to pronounce it la-zag-na). It makes FABULOUS leftovers! Plus, this version has less calories and fat (thanks to the subsitute of all veggies) so you can have your tiramisu too!
Recipe is adapted from Cooking Light.
Eggplant and Squash Veggie Lasagna
Prep time: about 20 minutes
Cook time: 45-55
Yeilds: 8 1/2 cup servings
What You’ll Need:
- 1 eggplant, cut into slices
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup of homemade marinara*
- 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano (dry works too)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus additional for garnish)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
- Cooking spray
- 1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut into slices
- 2 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper
*NOTE: You can skip making your own and use any store bought marinara instead.
How to Make It:
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let stand for about 15 minutes.
- Combine basil, oregano, ricotta, and black pepper into a bowl.
- Arrange 4 noodles over the bottom of a greasted baking dish (9 x 13). Top with 1/2 cup of the marinara, half of eggplant, 1/3 cup of mushrooms, half of zucchini. Spread ricotta mixture over vegetables; cover with 4 noodles. Spread about one cup of marinara over noodles; layer with remaining eggplant, mushroom and zucchini slices.
- Arrange remaining 4 noodles over vegetables, and spread remaining tomato mixture over noodles. Top evenly with mozzarella.
- Cover with foil coated with cooking spray and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until cheese is nice, bubbly and delicious looking. (very scientific).
I really can’t rave enough about this lasagna. The flavors are incredible and it’s truly not that hard to assemble, all you need is a bit of time and elbow grease. It’s also a great way to use up the remainder of your summer produce while still tricking your husband/kids into eating them. Trust me, y’all, I’m all about decieving my husband into eating things he “hates.” How else do you think he’d eat his veggies?
Nutritional information per serving: 264 calories, 9 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbohydrates and 20 grams of protein.